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DAY #4
Lest we forget: Bringing the curtains down with a walk through history
DAY #4

Lest we forget: Bringing the curtains down with a walk through history

Summary

We celebrated 70 years of freedom for India with a drive that began at the seat of the declaration of our independence, New Delhi, and ended at the Wagah Border shared with Pakistan. Making this journey possible was a Renault Kwid and a Renault Duster. This is the final webisode of the 4-part series, documenting our journey from Amritsar to Wagah.

DAY 4

Day 4 was D-day, or rather, I-Day. After travelling more than 300 km in their rugged Renault cars, the Freedom Drive team had reached Amritsar the night before, where at least Narendra had ventured out to savour the famous street food of the city. On the morrow, the team went sightseeing. Amritsar is one of India's most historically significant cities. It is home to the holiest monument of Sikhism in the world, the Golden Temple, a.k.a Harmandir Sahib. Narendra, Aashish, and Aditya walked the many metres of smooth marble within the temple complex, donning the customary head scarves—and finally reached the picturesque lake within which the temple sits, as it reflects the sunlight in all its gilded splendour.

After paying their respects, the team went to Jallianwala Bagh. This field is a solemn reminder of both India's freedom struggle and the solidarity and determination of the people of Punjab. In 1919, a large, peaceful gathering of Sikh families had met to petition independence from the British. Upon the Empire's orders, British General Dyer and his troops opened indiscriminate fire on the unarmed, helpless Sikhs. Till this day, the bullet holes in the walls paint chilling pictures of the sheer terror that thousands of men, women, and children would have experienced. The songs of the minstrel from Chandigarh, whom we met in the last episode, honoured the bravery of those fallen in this massacre.

In keeping with tradition, the team then left for the Renault showroom in Amritsar. There, they met some very proud owners who were eager to talk in detail about the benefits of possessing a Renault car. After spending some time with them, it was time to head for the final destination of this Freedom Drive: the Wagah border.

Probably the most visited patrol station on the India-Pakistan border, the Wagah border sees a spectacular ceremony at dusk every day, when guards on both sides of the border perform drills displaying their strength, discipline, and power to mock-intimidate their counterparts across the border. The air here is always rich with a sense of patriotism, more so today since it is Independence Day. Children and adults ran all across the border with the national flag, after which our soldiers performed their drills. All through this time, the crowd kept breaking the sound barrier. Finally, when the sun was about to say goodbye for the day, the show ended and the crowds dispersed. The sun had also set on our Freedom Drive.

Throughout this eventful journey, Narendra, Aashish, and Aditya met a lot of interesting people, visited many exciting places, and had experiences that they'd never had before. It has been 70 years since our forefathers fought for our freedom, and today, this freedom was savoured in the form of open roads, open hearts, and a journey in two powerful cars that are made in India as well.

DAY #3

Independence Eve on the highways of Punjab — A medley of colours and smiles

Summary

We celebrated 70 years of freedom with a drive that began at the seat of the declaration of our independence, New Delhi, and ended at the historic Wagah Border, shared with Pakistan. Making this journey possible was a Renault Kwid and a Renault Duster. This is the third webisode of the 4-part series, documenting our journey from Panchkula to Jalandhar.

To celebrate freedom, we - at the HT Brand Studio - decided to view independence from a different lens. We partnered with one of India's leading car makers, Renault, to discover and document stories of a new India across state lines. Personal mobility spells freedom like none other, and Renault offered us the opportunity to explore unchallenged.

On the road, there were three of us. Narendra Sharma and Aashish Bhardwaj took charge behind the wheels of a Renault Duster AWD (All-Wheel Drive) and a Kwid 1 Litre. Aditya Joshi was our man behind the camera.

Watch the entire series of four webisodes as a part of the Renault #FreedomDrive.

DAY 3

A day before August 15, Team #FreedomDrive set off from Panchkula towards the Punjabi city of Jalandhar. Their journey would see them travelling straight through the heart of Punjab and Haryana's joint capital city, Chandigarh. This also meant that our trio could experience the smooth, clean and masterfully-designed roads of the beautiful, planned city—a stark contrast to the off-road experience of Karnal.

A wandering minstrel would prove to be a source of much folklore, patriotism, and whole-hearted entertainment for the team. Garbed in white, wizened with age, and decorated by a flowing moustache and beard, he sang songs about the indomitable spirit that the people of Punjab are so famous for. Accompanying his vocals was the traditional Indian string instrument called an ektara (literally, one-stringer). There's always space for one more in Renault, so Aashish was kind enough to drop him to the railway station in his Kwid after his performance.

The trio finally reached Jalandhar in the afternoon, heading straight for the Renault showroom. Both the staff and customers were in festive spirits and thus it was the perfect chance to cut a special cake in honour of the nation's 71st Independence Day. Our team used this opportunity to hear a few happy customers' experience with their Renault cars. We also learned the reason why customers flock to Renault's dealerships, from the sales head there.

After Jalandhar, it was time to push off to Amritsar, and then to the final destination, the Wagah border. Independence Day seemed like the perfect occasion for the team to arrive at such a historic site in our country. After all – in order to break borders, one must first get to them. But, more on that in our next video!

DAY #2

Off-road adventures and more – The team reaches Panchkula

Summary

We celebrated 70 years of freedom for India with a drive that began at the seat of the declaration of our independence, New Delhi, and ended at the Wagah Border shared with Pakistan. Making this journey possible was a Renault Kwid and a Renault Duster. This is the second webisode of the 4-part series, documenting our journey from Karnal to Panchkula.

To celebrate 70 years of our freedom from foreign rule, we - at the HT Brand Studio - decided to view the thought of independence from a different lens. We may be free, but we are still bound by certain myths and misplaced beliefs. With a view to break away from some of these, we partnered with one of India's leading car makers, Renault. Personal mobility spells freedom like none other, and offers the opportunity to explore unchallenged.

On the road, there were three of us. Narendra Sharma and Aashish Bhardwaj took charge behind the wheels of a Renault Duster AWD (All-Wheel Drive) and a Kwid 1 Litre. Aditya Joshi was our man behind the camera.

Watch the entire series of four webisodes as a part of the Renault #FreedomDrive.

DAY 2

The second day of the Renault India #FreedomDrive began with Narendra awaking to a rude shock. Aashish was nowhere to be found in the hotel. Also missing were the keys of the Renault Duster. It didn't take him too long to put 2 and 2 together. The Renault Duster is a true 4x4 with three different wheel-drive settings and 205mm of ground clearance. Aashish seized the opportunity to take it for an off-road spin as soon as he saw it.

Now, to find a Renault Duster on some unnamed road in the unfamiliar city of Karnal is not the easiest of tasks. But was Naren up to it, and that too, with his Kwid? That question can only be answered by watching the video.

Day 2 also saw the #FreedomDrive team make their way from the green city of Karnal to Panchkula, via the Shimla road. Located in Haryana, the word 'Panchkula' translates to 'the city of 5 canals' in English. It is also where the headquarters of the Indian Army's Western Command is located.

The team's destination for Day 2 was the Renault service centre at Tricity Panchkula. There, the cars were given a much needed wash and servicing, and our team used that time to meet with some of the region's Renault customers sharing their favorite memories with the cars.

Watch the webisode and live the drive along with us!

DAY #1

Freedom means an open highway and a great car (or two!)

Summary

We celebrated 70 years of freedom for India with a drive that began at the seat of the declaration of our independence, New Delhi and ended at the border that divided a once united people, the Wagah Border shared with Pakistan. Making this journey possible was a Renault Kwid and a Renault Duster. This is the first webisode of the 4-part series, documenting our journey from New Delhi to Karnal.

To celebrate 70 years of our freedom from foreign rule, we - at the HT Brand Studio - decided to view the thought of independence from a different lens. We may be free, but we are still bound by certain myths and misplaced beliefs. With a view to break away from some of these, we partnered with one of India's leading car makers, Renault. Personal mobility spells freedom like none other, and offers the opportunity to explore unchallenged.

We decided to flag off the drive from India Gate in New Delhi, ending all the way at the Wagah border in Punjab. Along the way, we had a few adventures, some amazing experiences, and the chance to meet a handful of Renault customers and dealer partners. What was particularly interesting is how in such a short while the carmaker has been able to carve such a strong brand affinity.

On the road, there were three of us. Narendra Sharma and Aashish Bhardwaj took charge behind the wheels of a Renault Duster AWD (All-Wheel Drive) and a Kwid 1 Litre. Aditya Joshi was our man behind the camera.

Watch the entire series of four webisodes as a part of the Renault #FreedomDrive. We will release each video right here on HindustanTimes.com and our Facebook page. For now, you can watch the first episode above and read the excerpt below to find out what we did in the first leg from New Delhi to Karnal.

DAY 1

Any other day, and you'd find the team deep in slumber at 5 AM. But this wasn't just any other day, was it? After all, we had picked lots to figure out who got to go on the drive, and we had hardly slept in the excitement.

Early morning departures work best for several reasons - low traffic, great weather for photography, and an entire day on the highway ahead. So, sharp at 5:30 AM on an August morning, the team reached India Gate along with a bunch of our sleepy colleagues from HT. The Independence Day energy was clearly in the air (see pics) and a large crowd soon gathered to see us off!

Our two amazing machines added to the interest as well. For those not familiar with these variants, the Duster AWD is probably the most fun-to-drive option in the Duster range that has already received strong acclaim by aficionados. Powered by 1.5 litre dCi engine that is both fuel-efficient and powerful (110PS), our Duster AWD was the top-end RXZ variant that came with a touch-screen infotainment system and navigation. The all-wheel drive with the Auto function that divides power depending on need/traction, was a handy feature on tough roads. Meanwhile, the Kwid is already the talk of the town. Kwid 1 litre petrol variant was a fun, peppy car that also came with a navigation and touch-screen as standard.

As soon as we exited Delhi on the NH 44, we realized we had been ignoring something for a while in all the excitement. We needed to tank up … umm … not the cars, they had been fuelled up in the morning. We were ravenous since the evening before. So, we made a quick stop at Pahalwan Dhaba, before hitting the road again.

The first leg of our drive ended when we reached Karnal around noon. Here, we met some current and prospective Renault customers for a lovely chat, and got our rides serviced and polished for the journey ahead. You can check out that and more in the video above!

Showrooms in Punjab

Landmark Renault Bathinda
Bathinda, Punjab · 0164 305 1491
Open until 6:30 PM
Renault Showroom
Sangrur, Punjab · 070870 13417
Open until 6:30 PM
Renault Showroom Amritsar
Jandiala Rural, Punjab · 097803 18131
Open until 6:30 PM

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